Why the G20’s business forum matters for Europe

As a global society, we must be more unified than ever before to facilitate a global economic recovery.

The current severe economic slowdown affects us all, from the developing world to the developed world, and economies everywhere are struggling.

As headlines will have us know, Europe is heading for recession as the cost-of-living crisis deepens, growth rates on the continent have taken a hit, and high inflation levels stay high. For many in Europe, as elsewhere, the coming months look bleak.

The G20’s dialogue forum for global businesses, known as the B20, officially starts tomorrow in Bali, Indonesia. It could not have come at a better time. Over 3,300 people, including business leaders, government figures, and leading experts from all over the world, will come together to discuss and find concrete solutions for the extensive list of global challenges we face today.

Over two packed days, we plan to make great strides toward recovering stronger and more unified than ever as a global economy.

It is a colossal and immensely complex undertaking to effectively resolve all challenges which businesses face, following a pandemic that has caused the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. With this task before us, as the chair and host of the B20 Indonesia summit, we would like to reiterate our commitment to our mission – identifying actionable solutions for the growth of the global economy.

It is in this spirit that the B20 will make 25 policy recommendations for the G20 to take forward, across priority areas including innovation, empowering micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME) and vulnerable groups, as well as encouraging and facilitating collaboration between developed and developing countries.

These recommendations matter, not just for Indonesia, but across Europe and the world. The European Union is a full member of the G20, alongside three of its member states: France, Germany and Italy, while Spain is a permanent guest.

This means that the solutions which business leaders have put forward – solutions to challenges which are shared around the world – would, if adopted, also have an impact on European businesses which are navigating everything from supply chain issues to rising energy prices.

These leaders, who range from Elon Musk and Tony Blair, to Suzanne Clark and Mike Bloomberg, bring wide ranging expertise and a width and depth of experience that is helping us solve key challenges faced by European businesses.

To further substantiate our efforts, the B20 has initiated four legacy programmes to help provide lasting solutions to global challenges including navigating carbon trading, scaling up mid-sized companies, enabling women empowerment, and increasing access to vaccines. These programmes will continue beyond Indonesia’s G20 presidency and will ensure systematic and enduring change.

We are extremely proud of these outcomes. But the lessons we are sharing from Indonesia’s own perspective are building on a solid foundation.

Showcasing potential

As the largest economy in Southeast Asia, Indonesia is one of the world’s most prominent emerging markets. Globally, in terms of purchasing power parity, Indonesia is the 10th largest economy and is projected to continue to have a healthy GDP growth rate of more than five per cent per year. All of these statistics underpin Indonesia’s enormous economic potential. The EU is keenly aware of this fact, and that is why the EU not only launched a new strategic partnership with ASEAN in 2022 but is also seeking to strengthen relations with Indonesia directly.

Indonesia’s global outlook is bearing fruit, and we are extremely proud that Indonesia is the world’s first developing nation to host the B20 and G20. We know that as a global society, we must be more unified than ever before to facilitate a global economic recovery, and we are grateful for the EU’s own efforts to make that happen. We hope that the B20 Summit will enable our vision to become a reality, and that the lasting impact of the summit will be felt for years to come through our endeavours.

Platforms such as the B20 give us the opportunity to showcase this potential, maximise it, and to forge vital international partnerships that will spur growth on a global level, and ultimately benefit businesses in Indonesia and every corner of Europe, the G20 and the global economy. We look forward to working with the G20 and subsequent B20 presidencies to realise this collective vision for a better world. Let’s keep up the momentum.

This article was co-authored with Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, chair of B20 Indonesia.

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